The Chinese invented porcelain and the Persians supplied the cobalt to decorate it. It is the combination of these two elements, from two cultures that have combined to give us “Blue and White”. The world has always had a love affair with blue and white, from all cultures and walks of life. At the earliest period of Chinese blue and white, it was a rare commodity with the same value as gold.
Charm is a word we hear very little of these days, although it’s something we naturally look for. We may not often hear the word, but there’s a part of us that seeks it out. Charm can be defined in a number of ways: - to attract, or delight, to enchant. Charm is alluring, or pleasing, a particular quality that attracts and delights and this is exactly the place to find early 19th century, English, blue transfer ware, otherwise known as “blue and white”.
The name “Wedgwood” is probably one of the most well known associated with porcelain and pottery in the Western world. Josiah Wedgwood was born in 1730 into a family of potters at Burslem in Staffordshire, the great centre of English ceramics. Staffordshire is synonymous with the production of porcelain and pottery, as the county is uniquely positioned with potting clay and the plentiful water supply necessary for the manufacture of fine ceramics.
At various periods thought history, revivals of the superb designs of Greek classicism have emerged in art and design and particularly, architecture. Architectural styles have been inspired by elements of ancient Greek temples, with the use of massive marble Corinthian and Doric columns, decorative friezes and grand stair cases. These revisits are generally known today as periods of “Greek Revival”. These movements were dominant from about the middle of the 18th century, lasting, almost until the close of the 19th century, 1750 – 1890.
It was the Dutch East India Company who, in 1650, opened the doors of Europe to the import of Japanese porcelain. Most of this early Japanese export porcelain was decorated as blue and white, much favored by the Dutch and still widely collected in the Netherlands today.
A classic lamp, by definition, is well qualified, having seen a minimum of 100 years of changes in fashion and trends. Here it stands a century later, as elegant and timeless as the day it was made, having survived them all!
For the past two centuries, the West has been continually re-inspired by Oriental interior design. It was first inspired in the 18th century with the first British embassy to Imperial China in 1793 when Lord McCartney was received in Beijing by the Qianlong emperor.